Equus Awards: Preliminary Nominees

With this year’s Equus Awards just around the corner, for some nominees “Super Saturday” offers them a last chance to impress the judges. Whilst some categories are uncontested such as the Champion Two Year Old Filly elect, Princess Victoria, and others have already played their hands as is the case with the trio of high class spinters, Shea Shea, Val De Ra and What A Winter, others are wide open.

Possibly the category to really test the nerves of the judges is the Champion Three Year Old Colt/Gelding title. Of the four nominees, Solo Traveller and The Apache meet for the third time on Saturday with their head-to-head tally level after the former took the Gr.2 KRA Guineas in dramatic fashion and the HK-owned The Apache winning the Gr.1 Daily News 2000 from the tail of the field. The Gr.1 Champion’s Cup is run over 1800m and offers an intriguing rematch between the two, as the trip is arguably a touch too far for Solo Traveller and at the bottom end of The Apache’s stamina range!

However, both have the “find of the season”, Dancewiththedevil, to beat and the unseasonal rain that fell on Greyville Racecourse during the first part of the week will have done the chances of the daughter of Modus Vivendi no harm and victory here will see her challenge for the Horse Of The Year title.

For the second time following last season’s adjusted KZN Champion’s Season programme, the Champion Stayer will be determined at the end of the season, rather than at the start as was the case in the past when the Canon Gold Cup was run on the first Saturday of August. Ilsanpietro looked the dominant force in Gauteng earlier in the season and after two local preps, will be spot on for the biggest challenge of his career. From the list of nominees, only Grey Cossack lines up on Saturday and the race is the poorer for the absence of last year’s runner-up and this year’s Gr.3 Londsdale Stirrup Cup winner, Vertical Take-off, and impressive Gr.1 SA Derby winner, Seal.  See below for the list of nominees.

With the Champion Jockey’s title going to the wire, this year’s Equus Awards looks one to savour and guests will be treated to a grand evening of excitement and fun. Talking of fun, this year’s comedian, David Kau, is a real coup and the following is a brief resume of the man in the Toyota Jazz commercial!
“Born in Kroonstad in the Free State on 18 April 1978, David Kau has become one of the most accomplished comedians on this continent.
Having graduated at the end of 1998 with a Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama at the University of Cape Town, David has entertained audiences at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban, Baxter Theatre in Cape Town and Gallagher Estate with his wit, over a number of years.
His Stand-up comedy was first performed at the Smirnoff International Comedy festival in Cape Town where out of the 44 comedians taking part,  33 were from London, Australia, and USA, 11 were from South Africa and he was the only Black!
His first one-man stand-up comedy show was “ The Rainbow National Tour”  which took place at the Grahamstown Arts Festival  in 1999 followed by his second one-man show “ Introducing the People’s Comic – David Kau”  at the Baxter Theatre in 2000.    David was South Africa’s representative at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada in 2001.
David recently performed in and co-produced the first stand-up comedy show with a  line-up of black comedians – The Smirnoff Comedy Blackout – which ran at Gold Reef City in July 2002.  Since then he has performed in the 5fm Comedy Jam in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Bloemfontein.

A true professional, and was also a member of the Phat Joe Show on ETV and later SABC 1 until he went to London.”
Look out for the final programme of events in next week’s press release.

Princess Victoria


Delago Deluxe, Fighting Warrior


Ebony Flyer, Igugu


English Garden, Shea Shea, Solo Traveller, The Apache

CHAMPION OLDER FILLY/MARE (Four-year-old and older)

Dancewiththedevil, Mother Russia, Val de Ra

CHAMPION OLDER MALE (Four-year-old and older)

Past Master


Shea Shea, Val de Ra, What a Winter


Dancewiththedevil, Igugu, Mother Russia, Past Master

CHAMPION STAYER (2400m and further)

Grey Cossack, Ilsanpietro, Sangria Girl, Seal, Vertical Take-off


Venue:  Theatre of Marcellus, Emperors Palace.
Date:  Thursday, 11 August
Time:  18H30 for 19H00
Dress:  Black Tie
Master of Ceremonies:  James Goodman
Entertainment:  Comedian David Kau

Any further enquiries about the 2011 Equus Awards ceremony can be directed to:
Merle Parker:  [email protected]

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